All You Need to Do Is Jump

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Each morning, for the past five weeks, I get my three daughters up at 7am for their swim lessons. Bleary eyed they change into their swimsuits, grab a change of clothes, and eat a protein bar on the thirty-minute drive to the pool where they take lessons. All week they look forward to “Friday Fun Day.” On this day the teachers let the kids jump off the diving board and practice different skills.  My kids love the feeling of falling and splashing and being free. Not all the kids feel that way.

I sit on a plastic lounge chair and watch my kids. But I couldn’t, because it wasn’t their turn yet. Instead, there was a little girl standing on the edge of the diving board, frozen.

She was surrounded by instructors and life guards. Two in the pool. Two on the left. Two on the right. She didn’t move a muscle. The teacher was in the pool waiting for her, with a floaty, arms opened to catch her. He remained, not moving, encouraging her. Minutes passed by and not a hint of impatience passed by the faces of these college students who probably needed one more cup of coffee.

“I’ll catch you. I’m right here for you. All you need to do is jump.”

She is just as terrified and still immobilized.

And suddenly, I know I’m that girl on the diving board.

*****

We are trying to sell our condo. It’s the condo we bought when we first moved to Chicago, when we were doing that leap of faith for God. And now, after years of trying, it sits on the market, not moving. I ask some friends to pray that it sells. I don’t have much faith. As I watch the girl on the board I hear that whisper, “You can trust me. I’ll catch you. I’m right here for you. All you need to do is jump.”

*****

She looks around at everyone one last time. One of the teachers walks out on the board with her. She closes her eyes and jumps. Everyone begins to cheer – teachers, lifeguards, fellow students, and parents alike. She beams as she races to the back of the line to do it once again. There is a freedom in her face that is undeniable. Her joy is infectious. I’m jealous.

*****

We got home that morning to an offer on the condo. Far too low. Unable to reach an agreement. None of it makes sense. I keep hearing the whisper, “I’ll catch you. I’m right here for you. All you need to do is jump.” And I sit on the end of the diving board, not knowing if I can jump.

 

Brenna D'Ambrosio

Brenna D'Ambrosio

I believe in finding and celebrating the breath of God in the every day, and that sometimes a gentle, simple group of words is the best way to reflect the complex and bold beauty of the world. I believe in the fierce. I believe in a generation of girls and women finding their voice. A generation who are the heroes of their own story, who fight their own battles, and slay their own dragons.
Brenna D'Ambrosio

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  • This analogy hits home. My daughter has “failed” at swim lessons 3 times now and the perfectionist in me cringes. My lesson? To have fun, to play, to learn without lessons. I guess I need to switch that over to life, right? Thanks for the reminder that I’m not alone and that there is someone to catch me.

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